Wisconsin: Memorial to drunk driver’s victim has to go

What have you got against people killed by drunk drivers, Wisconsin?

In Sun Prairie, just north of Madison, a memorial to a woman killed by a drunk driver has been ordered removed because someone complained about it.

Maureen Mengelt, 52, was struck and killed in April last year when she was out for an afternoon run, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. Bruce Burnside, then a Lutheran bishop, had a blood alcohol content of .128 percent.

Over the summer, a bronze plaque was installed on state-owned land at the spot where she was killed, replacing a makeshift one composed of running shoes and flowers.

But now it has to go because in Wisconsin, if just one person complains, the memorial is torn down. One person complained. Anonymously.

Why? Perhaps it was the inscription:

Maureen Mengelt passed away at the age of 52 on Sunday April 7th, 2013. Her quick smile and positive attitude lifted everyone she met. Her interests were simple but brought out a passion and happiness that inspired others: Family, friends, running, good coffee, attending her children’s music programs and sporting events.

Her family has honored her by establishing “the Maureen Mengelt Memorial Fund” to benefit Sun Prairie youth activites. Her husband Kevin says the fund is proof that good truly can come from tragedy.

The city of Sun Prairie recognizes Maureen’s selfless acts of compassion, and is inspired by her family’s dedication to cultivating good works in our community.

“We tried to put up the most respectful, beautiful memorial we could, and now one person gets to anonymously complain and all of those good intentions mean nothing? It’s a terrible rule,” said Matt Glowacki of Sun Prairie.

The state will try to find another location for the memorial. But that’s not easing any anger.

“Context is at least part of the story,” Glowacki said. “You don’t put a Pearl Harbor memorial in the middle of Afghanistan.”

“It just seems mean spirited,” Mengelt’s husband says.